St. Paul man sentenced to 35.5 years for 2021 fatal Rochester shooting

St. Paul man sentenced to 35.5 years for 2021 fatal Rochester shooting.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 11:17 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 13, 2023 at 3:37 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A South St. Paul man was sentenced to 35.5 years Monday for a 2021 fatal shooting in Rochester.

Derrick Days, 29, is accused of shooting and killing Todd Banks Jr. on June 6, 2021. It happened downtown Rochester near the area of 1st Avenue and 3rd Street SW.

Days will serve 426 months in prison for his second-degree murder charge and 45 months in prison for his second-degree assault charge. Both sentences run concurrently, resulting in 35.5 years in prison. The court said he must spend at least 23.75 years in prison before eligible for release.

Days pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon as part of the plea deal that will dismiss an additional charge of second-degree murder and illegally possessing a firearm.

“This is a case that merits at least the middle of the box guideline sentence, but the state would advocate for slightly above that” prosecutor Eric Woodford. “He treated life as cheap; he treated life as disposable.”

In a victim impact statement, Banks’ mother stated in part: “He murdered my son. There is not enough time he could spend in prison to make up for what he did.”

Days also addressed the court and family.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t regret making the worst decision of my life,” he said. “If I could take my actions that day, I absolutely would in a heartbeat. You may not forgive me now, but I hope that one day you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. I am truly sorry.”

Days’ attorney Beau McGraw asked the judge for leniency, stating that the defendant was remorseful and that he wasn’t the aggressor.

“You have an opportunity to look at the circumstances and say who is the aggressor?” he said. “Because Mr. Days wasn’t the aggressor does that mitigate his sentence? I argued in my memorandum, and I argue to this court this morning it certainly does.”

Judge Joseph Chase said the remorse wasn’t enough to warrant a smaller sentence.

“I do not find that remorse a sufficient basis to impose a lesser penalty for those crimes,” he said. “In fact, I hope that remorse is a reason for Mr. Days to come to understand over the time he will have to contemplate this and agree, that the courts sentence, as significant as it is- is just and fits the crimes.”

The other defendant, charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, Nautica Cox is expected to stand trial in June.